As part of its 2015 Guest of Parliament program, the Parliament of Australia hosted a delegation to develop relations with representatives of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The week-long program from 4 to 11 November included visits to Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra.
The program fostersongoing professional relationships between younger or newly elected Members of Parliament from the member nations and Australian parliamentarians. It also helps delegates gain a positive insight and understanding of Australia and its political system.
The delegation’s time in Australia was spent meeting with representatives from all three tiers of government in Australia discussing issues like trade, education and the economy.
A particular highlight was a visit to Newcastle hosted by the federal member for Newcastle, Ms Sharon Claydon MP. The visit enabled the delegates to experience firsthand the role of, challenges and expectations of a regionally based federal member of parliament in Australia.
The ASEAN MPs had a strong interest in youth engagement and hoped to learn how local members faced this challenge in their own electorates, particularly in regional areas. Together with Ms Claydon, the delegation visited Nobbys Beach Surf Life Saving Club to demonstrate the great example of the Club’s youth engagement activities and how they encourage youth participation and leadership at the Club, and also assist children with intellectual or physical disabilities understand water safety and enjoy the beach.
The delegation included parliamentarians from Brunei Darussalam, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
ASEAN delegates in Newcastle with Ms Sharon Claydon MP